DNA tests of bones found in Pyrenees matched to British hiker

Partial skeletal remains found in the Pyrenees mountains along a line between the French and Spanish border has been identified by DNA analysis as being that of British hiker Esther Dingley, 37, who mysteriously disappeared in the region in November 2020.

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Human remains found in the Pyrenees mountains are those of missing Britsh hiker Esther Dingley, it has been confirmed, reports BBC News.

The 37-year-old, from County Durham, had been walking alone near the Spain-France border and was last seen on  November 22nd.

Charity LBT Global, which has been representing her family, said a bone found last week matched Ms Dingley's DNA.

Her mother Ria Bryant and boyfriend Dan Colegate said they were "distraught".

A joint statement said: "We have all known for many months that the chance we would get to hug our beloved Esther again, to feel her warm hand in ours, to see her beautiful smile and to watch the room light up again whenever she arrived was tiny, but with this confirmation that small hope has now faded. It is devastating beyond words.

"At this stage, with just a single bone found and no sign of equipment or clothing in the immediate area (which has been closely searched again over several days), the details of what happened and where still remain unknown."

They said rescue teams would continue their search on foot and using drones in a bid to find her equipment "to understand how this tragedy occurred".

Ms Dingley and Mr Colegate swapped their life in north-east England for an open-ended campervan tour of Europe in 2014.

Mr Colegate was house-sitting at a French farmhouse 100 miles (160km) away when his partner of 20 years went missing on a solo hike.

She last spoke to him via a WhatsApp video call from atop Pic de Sauvegarde on that date.

LBT Global chief executive Matthew Searle said confirmation the remains were those of Ms Dingley was "the tragic end we have all feared".

Read more of this report from BBC News.

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